£1m bill sinks Centenary Way roundabout plan

By Michael Upton | 20/04/2010 0 comments

£1m bill sinks Centenary Way roundabout plan

COUNCIL bosses have shelved plans to replace a busy roundabout and replace it with traffic lights after the cost soared by £1 million.

Rotherham Borough Council wants to ease congestion on the A630 Centenary Way by digging up Pool Green roundabout at the bottom of Main Street and installing traffic lights.

But engineers have been forced into a U-turn after delays in sending in the diggers saw the bill climbing from £3 million to £4 million.

Other junctions on the A630, including the B&Q and St Ann’s roundabouts, are already traffic light controlled but the status quo looks set to stay at Pool Green, also known as Masbrough roundabout.

This is largely down to concerns over possible public spending cuts and the cost of diverting utility connections—estimated at £600,000.

Senior engineer Andrew Butler, in a report presented to councillors on Monday, confirms that estimated cost of the proposed improvements was £3 million.

"The current estimated cost is now £4 million due to increased construction costs and costs from utility firms,” the report continued.

"To proceed with this particular project would require all other projects funded from the local transport plan to be curtailed.

“This would affect the delivery of those projects, such as the A57 and Waverley Link road major schemes, the funding of emergency bridge
repairs on the A630 Parkway and further funding for the A631 West Bawtry Road major scheme.

“It is unlikely that the estimated costs associated with the signalisation of the Pool Green junction would reduce and it is unlikely that additional funding sources could be identified in the current economic climate.

“With this in mind it would be prudent to not proceed with the project at this time.”

A maximum budget of £2.9 million had been planned for the project, Mr Butler’s report said, meaning pushing ahead with it would see funding withdrawn from other much-needed plans.

With whichever government emerging victorious from next month’s General Election expected to impose cuts, the council’s roads budget also faces being slashed by up to 40 per cent, putting further pressure on the already-limited funding pot  for maintaining and upgrading Rotherham’s highways.

There could still be some changes at the busy Pool Green junction, however, as Mr Butler said that £450,000 had been allocated for spending, which engineers could use to "develop and deliver in part an alternative traffic management scheme.”

But he added: “This solution may not be as successful at achieving the goals of easing congestion.”

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